There was a time back in ’01 and ’02 that hospital acquired MRSA was a struggle for my life. I was recovering from a colostomy reversal and for a while at least it seemed my post-op was fairly typical. About 3 to 4 weeks into my recovery I started getting cellulitis. As long as I was in the hospital on IV antibiotics it seemed to hold the infection at bay. Whenever I went home and was off the IV antibiotics, the infection would come back with a vengance. Consequently, that year I was in and out of the hospital, there must have been at least 2 dozen admissions.
That particular hospital was right across the street from my daughter’s school and I think she was in 4th or 5th grade at the time. The hospital would be sure to put me in a 2 person room that was empty and if I was in the hospital, that’s where Sarah would go after school. She would hang with me, they would send up a meal tray for her and let her spend the night with me. It was a great thing the hospital did for me and my daughter. I remember one time she heard another elderly patient crying and my daughter asked my nurse about him. The nurse told her that he was here from the nursing home and he was scared about being in an unfamilier environment. Sarah picked up her paper and pencils and went across the hall to go visit with him. She drew pictures for him while telling him that the people there were going to help him and that everything was going to be all right. She said she was right across the hall if he needed anything, and you could hear him calm down.
She came back across the hall and asked me if I could help her with her math homework. I said I’d be more than happy to. I remember going over each math question so carefully and taking so much time with each one to make sure she was on the right track. I also remember the next day she came over and told me she got an “F.” Well, damn. To this day I believe a few things: My daughter really touches my heart with her compassion and kindness, my math skills are far behind what is required these days, I can add, subtract, multiply and do long division, but in the end I blame it on the morphine.